Dayton’s team changed in many ways in mid-December when it started playing a seven-man rotation.
Here’s a big one: the Flyers (16-3, 6-1 A-10) committed 18 fouls per game in their first nine games and have committed 15 fouls per game in their last 10. With only two subs, they have to avoid foul trouble. For the most part, they have.
There are exceptions. Kyle Davis picked up his second foul with 13:11 left in the first half at Davidson last Tuesday and played sparingly the rest of the half. Kendall Pollard left the game with two fouls at the 8:54 mark and didn’t return until the second half. The Flyers trailed 45-33 at halftime and lost 77-60.
Dayton coach Archie Miller calls avoiding foul trouble the No. 1 point of emphasis for his team each week. Playing hard without fouling, he said, is almost essential.
“What we try to do is eliminate silly fouls, the undisciplined gambles, the undisciplined reaches,” Miller said. “Those things just aren’t allowed anymore.”
Davis fouled jump shooters twice against Davidson. In the next game, he didn’t commit a foul in the first half against Richmond on Saturday and played a career-high 39 minutes in a 63-60 victory.
As good as the Flyers have been at avoiding fouls, they’ve been even better at drawing them. They make more free throws per game (16.2) than their opponents take (15.7) and have outscored the opposition 309-209 at the line.
Top 25: Dayton’s stay in the top 25 ended after a week. The Flyers dropped from No. 22 to No. 31 in the Associated Press poll Monday and to No. 28 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Weather issues: The Atlantic 10 is keeping an eye on the blizzard forecast for the northeast this week. Snow accumulation of 18 to 24 inches is possible between Monday and 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The Flyers are scheduled to leave Wednesday for their game Thursday at Massachusetts. They fly into Westfield, Mass., which is 28 miles from Amherst.
“We’re aware of the snow,” Miller said. “I don’t think anything’s going to change until we get right up to travel time. It is what it is. We’ll deal with it as it comes. It’s not really a concern.”
Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg said Dayton shouldn’t have any trouble getting to the game, but he was worried about the snow affecting his team today.
“It might be a little extra tougher for us at least figuring out a time and place to practice,” he said. “They’re telling people to stay off the roads and don’t come out.”